Hyderabad | India
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Hyderabad, the pearl city of India, is the capital of Telangana in Southern India. It sits on the banks of the Musi River and on the Deccan Plateau. Hyderabad and Secunderabad are "twin cities" near Hussain Sagar Lake (also known as Tank Bund in local parlance) but both cities have grown so much that now they have become one big metropolis. The city and district of Hyderabad are coterminous. Hyderabad district is entirely contained within the Ranga Reddy (formerly "Hyderabad Rural") district of Telangana. Many of the suburbs of Hyderabad have been merged into the city, now called Greater Hyderabad. A city rich with history and tradition, Hyderabad now competes with Bangalore and Chennai for the crown of India's IT capital; Microsoft and Google have their India headquarters here.


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1 Understand 1.1 History 1.2 Culture and attitudes 1.3 Climate If you are visiting Hyderabad on business—as is increasingly the case now—it is easy to miss the 400 year-old Hyderabad. The city that immediately hits the eye is a sprawling metropolis of shopping malls and office buildings with glass facades. The whole of the city seems to be under construction or renovation and the roads are jammed because the metro is under construction. The magnificent "old city" that was once the seat of the Nizam, the ruler of the largest and the most opulent "princely state", and the twin city of Secunderabad where the British maintained a cantonment to keep the army within striking distance of the Nizam can be seen only if you take the time out to see them. Hyderabad's many epithets include the City of Pearls, the City of Nawabs, the Biryani City and, because of its high-tech industries, Cyberabad. History The Balahisar Baradari on the top of Golconda Fort In the 10th century, the kings of the Kakatiya dynasty built the fortress of Golkonda about 8 km to the west of what is now Hyderabad’s old city. Over the next few centuries, the fort became a major centre of diamond trade fed by the mines of Kollur, so much so that the word "Golkonda" became synonymous with great wealth. The fort changed hands many times before it came under the control of Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk in 1463. He had quelled rebellion in the Telangana region and was appointed the subedar, or administrator of the region by the Bahmani sultan as a result. By 1518, he had become independent from the sultan, declared himself the Sultan under the name "Quli Qutb Shah" and established the Qutb Shahi dynasty. In 1589, Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, a grandson of Quli Qutb Shah, moved his capital from the Golconda fort to the present day location of Hyderabad due to water shortages at the old location. In 1591, he ordered the construction of the Charminar, reportedly in gratitude to Allah for stopping a plague epidemic before it could do too much damage. The name "Hyderabad" reportedly had its origins in an affair between Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah and a local Telugu courtesan named Bhagmati. He named the city Bhagyanagar after her, and after she converted to Islam and took on the name of "Hyder Mahal", he named the city Hyderabad. Hyderabad was built on a grid plan with help from Iranian architects. French traveller Jean-Baptiste Tavernier favourably compared Hyderabad to Orleans. The Qutb Shahi dynasty lasted till 1687, when the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb defeated the sultanate and took over Hyderabad. He appointed a governor to rule the region and granted him the title of Nizam-ul-Mulk. However, Mughal rule was short-lived and in 1724, the Nizam Asaf Jah I gained independence from a declining Mughal empire. Legend has it that while on a hunting expedition, he met a holy man who offered him some kulchas (flatbreads) and asked him to eat as much as he could. Asaf Jah ate only seven, and the holy man prophesied that his dynasty would last for seven generations. Sure enough, the seventh ruler in the dynasty was the last. In honour of the legend, the flag of the Nizams featured a kulcha. Around 1763, Asif Jah II, defeated by the Marathas and threatened by Tipu Sultan of Mysore, entered into a subsidiary alliance with a British. Hyderabad state became a "princely state", protected by, and under the overlordship of the British. The British maintained their army in nearby Secunderabad to protect the Nizam and to ensure that he did not do any mischief. Hyderabad state was the richest in the country, and in the 1930s Time magazine rated the Nizam the richest man in the world. In 1947, with India's independence, the seventh Nizam was reluctant to cede his principality to the newly independent India, preferring Pakistan instead. India sent in its troops and the 200 year old prophesy was fulfilled. On 17 September 1948, it was merged into India. Hyderabad become the capital of Hyderabad state. In 1956, Telugu-speaking areas were consolidated into the state of Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad became the capital of this new state. The new capital's administrative buildings were constructed in the "new city", between the "old city" (as the Nizam's city came to be called) and Secunderabad. However, in 2014, the merger of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh was reversed, and the state of Telangana was officially formed. In 2016-7 the capital of Andhra Pradesh was moved to Amaravati, leaving Hyderabad as the capital of Telangana alone. Culture and attitudes In many senses, Hyderabad is the meeting ground between North and South India. The city has a culture that is distinct from the rest of Telangana, showing Islamic influences and a courtly presence imparted from its period as the capital of the Nizamate. This is more evident in the old city. The new city resembles many provincial state capitals in India. Secunderabad is more cosmopolitan, as the Cantonment area is in this part of the city. Due to an influx of young men and women from various parts of the country, Hyderabad's culture and attitudes have taken a turn towards "modernity". However, the city is still a deeply conservative place, so dress appropriately, especially in the old city. Climate Hyderabad has a tropical climate. The best time to visit the city is from mid-November to mid-February. Temperatures are mild with abundant sunshine during this time and average temperatures range from a low of 15°C (59°F) to a high of 29°C (85°F). March to June is hot and dry with occasional thunderstorms. Highs can reach 45°C (113°F) or more and a lack of air-conditioning can make it feel very uncomfortable. July, August, September and October can be quite warm and humid. Low pressure systems from the Bay of Bengal during the monsoon season can cause heavy rain for days.


Planning a Trip

1 Get in 1.1 By plane 1.2 By train 1.3 By car 1.4 By bus 1.4.1 Bus companies By plane 17.238678.42941 Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (HYD IATA) is 22 km (14 mi) from the city. The sleek and well-organized airport is one of the best in India. It has one integrated terminal (although passengers departing on international flights must now complete security, immigration and customs at the interim international terminal first, then go to the main terminal, with a free shuttle and premium check-in available) as well as a special Hajj terminal. There are direct international flights from many countries. International carriers are Air India, British Airways, Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Silk Air, Etihad Airways and Thai Airways. International destinations: Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Chicago, Dammam, Doha, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jeddah, Kuala Lumpur, London, Muscat, Sharjah, Singapore. Excellent domestic connectivity is provided by Indian airlines including Air India, Air India Express, Indigo Airlines, Jet Airways, JetLite and SpiceJet. The airport can be contacted on their (toll free for BSNL/MTNL subscribers) number +91 1 800 419-2008 for all services and enquiries including arrivals and departure information, facilities, transport availability, etc. The Pushpak - Airport Liner, an air-conditioned bus service operated by TSRTC, goes to various designated points in the city such as (1) Begumpet (Paryatak Bhavan) (2) Secunderabad (Keyes High School) (3) Hi-Tec City (Opposite Shilparamam), and two designated points in the city (4) Charminar (City College) (5) Mehdipatnam (Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital). Travel time runs from 45-100 min depending on time of day and traffic conditions). Tickets cost between ₹106 and ₹265 depending on the bus stop. The buses have a frequency of a bus every 30 min from 03:30-23:00 and every hour at midnight, 01:00, 02:00 and 03:00. You can reach the designated points and then take an auto or metered cab from there. Alternatively, you can hire metered air-conditioned radio cabs starting from ₹20 per km (see Get around section). Easy and Meru are approved by the airport @ ₹15/km and are available just after exiting the terminal building. For the rest, you need to call and book with a lead time of 15 minutes to 1 hour. These cabs charge 25% surcharge in the night (i.e., ₹18.75 per km). Hyderabad traffic police counter is on the ground floor with prepaid taxis. Beware of taxi soliciting touts at the airport greeting area; they will try to charge exorbitant rates. Hired cars are also available from a blue and white booth at the exit of the airport, adjacent to the parking lot. This gives you the advantage of paying in advance and receiving a ticket with your fare and destination, thereby avoiding any disagreements over price. The elevated expressway to the airport takes 20 minutes. Another option for cheap travel from the airport to Hyderabad city is: When you arrive at airport, go to the departure gates, where you can get a car that has just dropped off passengers and would otherwise return empty to the city. Such vehicles will drop you off in city for only ₹30. The same is true if you hail a taxi near Mehdipathnam, where the flyover starts. By train 17°22′0″N 78°28′0″EMap of Hyderabad Wikivoyage has a guide to Rail travel in India Indian Railways has service to Hyderabad from all over India. There are three major railway stations serving the twin cities: 17.3924378.46762 Hyderabad Station [HYB] (Deccan or Nampally), 17.433378.50253 Secunderabad Station [SC] (Junction), and 17.3893378.499174 Kachiguda [KCG] and a minor station at Begumpet. Most of the trains bound for South India and North India originate from Hyderabad and leave via Secunderabad. Destinations include: New Delhi (toward north via Nagpur, Bhopal, Jhansi, Agra, 1677 km, 26-29 hr) Visakhapatnam (toward east via Vijayawada, Warangal, 710 km, 12½ hr) Chennai (toward south via Vijayawada, Warangal, Ongole, Nellore, 790 km, ~14 hr) Mumbai (toward west via Vikarabad, Solarpur, Pune. 790 km, 13hr 45min) Kolkata Howrah Station (toward east via Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Bhubaneswar, 1592 km, over 30 hours) Trivandrum (toward south-southwest via Tenali, Ongole, Nellore, Tirupati, Chittoor, Katpadi, Tiruppur, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Tiruvalla, Kayamkulam, Kollam 1568 km, 30½ hr), Tirupati (toward south via Vikarabad, Guntakal, Kadapa. 732 km, 16 hr) Narsapur (toward west via Nalgonda, Vishnupuram, Mandavalli, Kaikaluru, Bhimavaram, Veeravasaram, Palakollu, Narasapuram, 461 km, 10½ hr), Sirpur Kagaznagar, Bidar, Kolhapur, Ajmer, Darbhanga, Purna, Aurangabad, Parbhani, Bijapur, Gulbarga. From these major railway stations you can easily get connected buses or private taxis which will take you to the destination of your choice. You can also ask taxi drivers about getting around Hyderabad as they have adequate experience and guide you appropriate to save your significant amount of time. By car Hyderabad is well connected to other major Metros by road. Bangalore is connected by NH7 and is at a distance of 560 km. The road between Bangalore and Hyderabad is excellent, and the distance can be covered in 6 hours. The city is 752 km from Chennai (using highways NH9 and NH5) and 800 km from Mumbai (NH9 till Pune and the expressway to Mumbai.). By bus Hyderabad is well-connected to all parts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and most parts of South and Western India. 17.3784878.484535 MGBS Bus Station (Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station or Imliban or Gowliguda Bus-Station), ☎ +91 40 24614406, +91 99 59226257 (inquiry counter), +91 40 24613955 (ticket reservation office), toll-free: +91 1 800 200 4599 (24/7 Customer Support). This is said to be the largest bus station in the world with around 84 bus bays side by side.  Buses going to Anantapur (350 km, 5-8 hr, ₹380-600, 10 or more per day), Ahmedabad (21 hr, daily), Bangalore (10-12 hr, 8 or more per day), Chennai (12½-13½ hr, ten or more per day, from ₹710), Coimbatore (14 hr, 5 or more per day, from ₹1610), Madurai (14-16 hr, four per day, ₹1600), Puttaparthy (366 km 10-11 hr, two evening buses, ₹600-700), Rajahmundry (422 km, 10-12 hr, 6 or more per day, ₹500-750), Tirupati (570 km 10-13 hr, ₹600-950, 15 or more per day), Vijayawada (270 km, ₹300-400, half hourly, 7-9 hr), Vijayawada (5½-6 hours, every half hour, ₹200-330), Visakhapatnam (627 km, ₹600-1100, 12-14 hr, 20 or more per day). 17.4477678.498066 JBS (Jubilee Bus Station), ☎ +91 40 27802203. In Secunderabad. APSRTC runs direct air-conditioned coaches to Mumbai, Bengaluru (Bangalore) and Chennai. AP tourism runs air-conditioned coaches to the same cities. You have to book the tickets in advance. There are many online bus ticketing portals to book bus tickets.  South India is largely well served by organised private bus operators. They run luxury buses like Volvo, Mercedes, Kinglong Cerita buses including multi axled buses. These are air-conditioned, semi sleeper or sleeper services with online ticket booking facilities. Important private travel hubs are KPHB Colony, Lakdi-Ka-Pool, Paradise centre in Secunderabad and Dilsukh nagar. Luxury services run to many cities from these places. It may be difficult to find direct buses from North India. Bus companies Telangana State Road Transport Corporation is the most luxurious bus transport corporation in India and is run by the Telangana state Government: The bus stations of TSRTC in Hyderabad and Secunderabad are MGBS and JBS respectively. TSRTC runs all types of buses including air-conditioned, non air-conditioned and Volvo, Garuda-Plus, Garuda-Sleeper, Indra, Super Luxury and express buses to all major cities in South India and all major cities around Hyderabad. Private travel services which provide decent to excellent services from/to major cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Nagpur and other cities in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamilnadu are Orange Travels, Kaveri Travels and many more. They can be easily found using online services like Redbus Myticketbuddy who also provide details of other services and amenities provided.


Getting Around

1 Get around 1.1 By metro 1.2 By Multi-Modal Transport System (MMTS) 1.3 By bus 1.4 By autorickshaw 1.5 By taxi 1.6 By car 1.6.1 Rental cars 1.7 On foot Auto-rickshaw/Auto There are many ways to get around in Hyderabad. It has good bus service, passable auto-rickshaw and taxi services and a grossly inadequate local train service. By metro The first segments of the Hyderabad Metro (HMR) rail system opened in November 2017. It has a Red Line and a Blue Line. Extensions of both lines are under construction, as is a third line. The Metro is efficient, but serves few places of interest to visitors. By Multi-Modal Transport System (MMTS) MMTS Local Train Local trains called MMTS are available, albeit for only a few places in Hyderabad. The peak frequency is about every 10 minutes, much less frequently during the daytime and on Sundays (see schedule). It is a fast way of travel to the few stations it covers, and the cheapest option as well. Foreigners are advised to take first class. Daily, monthly and quarterly passes are also available at the MMTS stations. By bus Hyderabad has good local bus connectivity and is run by TSRTC, a state-government owned corporation. Most buses start at the Mahatma Gandhi Bus Terminus more commonly known as Imlibun. Apart from normal local buses, you have a choice of Metro Express and Metro Deluxe aka Veera. There have also been air-conditioned buses all over the city (minimum fare ₹22). Local buses tend to get extremely overcrowded and traveling on the footboard of a bus is very common. As of 2011 a fleet of new, more comfortable, buses include blue-liveried Tata Marcopolo buses of the Metro Deluxe class and the City Sheetal buses (Volvo or Tata Marcopolo). They are air-conditioned and have limited stops. They are not crowded and you can get a seat most of the times. The routes displayed on buses are normally shown in at least two languages, one of which is English. The best way to get to a location by bus would be to get to a bus stop and ask people waiting there. You could also get into a bus going in your direction and ask the conductor for help. 17.3778.525281 Dilsukhnagar Bus Depot, Santhoshi Maatha Temple Rd, Krishna Nagar, Dilsukhnagar.  17.384478.48452 Koti Bus Depot, Turrebaz Khan Rd, Esamiya Bazaar.  By autorickshaw Autorickshaws in Hyderabad should be metered, though it can be difficult for non-locals and locals alike to find an auto-rickshaw driver who ever agrees to a metered fare. (This is especially true when hailing an auto in front of a 5-star hotel and near Hi-Tech area.) However, Traffic police are very helpful and will help engage an Auto with metered fare. Autos can carry a maximum of 3 passengers excluding the driver, but it is common to find them being overloaded to carry up to six passengers. The minimum fare is ₹20 which covers the first 1.6 km. Each additional km is another ₹11. There are also shared 8 seater Maxi Vans available to and fro from the suburbs to a main location of the city in that direction. Fares are mostly ₹2 more than bus fares, but are far more comfortable and fast for short distances up to 5 km. Fix the fare before you step into the auto-rickshaw. Auto Drivers in Hyderabad are a nightmare and are absolutely uncooperative. Finding a needle in a haystack is easier than finding an auto driver who agrees to go by the metered rate with a common excuse that their meter is not functioning. They always demand a much higher fare even though the fare has been increased from ₹12-14. It is advised to keep extra change with you since most of the auto drivers will claim that they don't have change, even if they have. If you have a choice then always opt for a prepaid cab. Reckless driving and accidents are very common in this city. Most of the auto drivers want you to check out Govt. Authentic pearls shop in exchange for a lower fare; however, they are okay if you don't buy anything from these shops, just sit there for 10 minutes. They get 25 kg rice if they take 15 customers to these shops. The pearl shops are notorious for persuasive sales tactics and they won't let you out easily. So pay the complete fare to auto drivers instead of being diverted to a pearl shop. Auto drivers get some percent of the entry fees (around ₹10) if they take you to the places like Chow Mahal or Salarjung museum for free. If you are around these areas get into some auto instead of walking down and ask them to drop you there. By taxi Metered taxis are available, but they cannot be hailed off the street. One needs to call their centralized call centre and book the service. Service is very good, especially if you are booking for longer distances. It can be next to impossible to be able to get a taxi without prior booking since demand far outstrips the supply. All metered taxis have digital meters that show the distance and fare. Smartphone applications can be used to hail a ride - Uber and the Indian company Ola or Ova Cabs. Operators offering metered taxis at ₹10 per km (Most of them are now charging ₹12 per km for an Indica, ₹10 continues in case of Maruti Omni) with a minimum charge is ₹80 in most cases. Many taxi services prefer not to book trips that are only a short distance. Airport Cabs Hyderabad, ☎ +91 40 20202020, e-mail: info@airportcabshyderabad.com. Hrs. Minimum charges: Per hour ₹250 for km, taxis at ₹9 per km. Detailed tariff on website. All types of cars available as per your requirement.  Cosy Cabs, ☎ +91 40 24466101, e-mail: info@cosycabs.in. 24 Hrs. Minimum charges. Detailed tariff on website. All types of cars available as per your requirements.  Ova Cabs Hyderabad, ☎ +91 40 22992299, e-mail: info@ovacabshyderabad.com. 24 Hrs. Minimum charges. Detailed tariff on website. All types of cars available as per your requirements.  Red Cabs, ☎ +91 40 22552255. Minimum charges: Per hour ₹250 for km, taxis at ₹10 per km. Detailed tariff on website. All types of cars available.  Taxigk, ☎ +91 8121725725. Minimum charges. Detailed tariff on website. All types of cars available.  Meru Cabs, ☎ +91 40 44224422. Offers taxis at ₹40 for first 2 km and ₹21 per km after that. Night tariffs (23:00-05:00) are higher.  Green Cabs, ☎ +91 40 24606060. Offers taxis at ₹10 per km. Detailed tariff on website.  Genie Cabs, ☎ +91 40 33993399. Offers hatchback cars at ₹100 for the first six km and ₹16 per km after that. Night tariffs (23:00-05:00) are higher.  Hyderabad cabs, ☎ +91 40 20005000.  Dot cabs, ☎ +91 40 24242424. Offers taxis in two variants, each with point-to-point fares and metered fares. Detailed tariff on website. The two variants are a sedan (usually Renault Logan), or a family car (Toyota Innova).  [dead link] ZipaRide, ☎ +91 040-2333 3356.  She Cabs For women who want to travel safetly By car Hyderabad has an underdeveloped road system, leading to traffic jams during rush hours. The 160 km-long Ring Road Expressway circles the outside of the city, and may be faster than driving straight through the city. Like elsewhere in India, driving is "exciting" in Hyderabad. You find cycles, motor cycles, rickshaws, hand carts, autos, share autos, mini trucks, buses, vestibule buses, and double deckers jostling along. There are long stretches of roads passing through thickly populated areas that have no median breaks, so vehicles, including motorbikes and cars, simply drive on the wrong side of the road. Several modern flyovers now link the arterial roads. Rental cars Several car rental agencies are available at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport as well in the following locations. Avis, Hotel Marriott Hyderabad, Tank Bund Rd (opposite Hussain Sagar Lake), ☎ +91 11 23890707, e-mail: crs@avis.co.in. Open 24 hr.  [dead link] Budget, Plot Number 902, Road Number 46, Jubilee Hills, ☎ +91 44 2355 8807, fax: +91 40 23558809, e-mail: customer.service@budgetrentacar.co.in. 24 hr. Budget car rentals are also available at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport and the Hampshire Plaza Hotel  Savaari, Hyderabad International Airport, ☎ +91 1 800 40 7282274, e-mail: info@savaari.com.  WiWiGo, Shamshabad, Hyderabad, Telangana, ☎ +91 8010 166 166, e-mail: operations@wiwigo.com. Open 24 hr.  On foot Hyderabad's interesting districts are fairly spread out, but are enjoyable to explore by foot on their own. The Old City is composed of a maze of disorienting alleyways that expand outward from the Charminar. Getting lost in the markets (where you can buy anything from hand-sequined saris to freshly slaughtered goats) and alleyways in the Old City can make for a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. The famous Chudi Bazaar (Lad Bazaar) across from the Charminar is a chaotic tumble of goods, people, animals and vehicles are navigated quickly on foot. The Chowmahalla palace and the Mecca Masjid are easily accessed from the Charminar. Necklace Road, Sultan Bazar (Koti) and Abids are worth taking some time to wander around. Walking can be hazardous in Hyderabad. It is common for roads to be missing pavement, or simply unpaved, and bikes and auto-rickshaws may go to right up to the edge of the road and climb any barrier to get ahead in traffic. Walking alongside and crossing the road can be very dangerous and it is important to stay alert for erratic driving. Always use the foot-over bridge if there is one available.